Carles Cuadrat: Loss would have made the gap with Goa too big
Two second half goals from Sunil Chhetri ensured that Bengaluru FC secured all three points against FC Goa at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Friday. Despite being under pressure for the first half, the defending champions held their ground and came back with a strong display in the second period to walk away with the win.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Bengaluru head coach, Carles Cuadrat felt that while the result wasn’t going to decide his team’s season, it was an important one in their quest for top spot. “There are still some games to play in the league. So, anything can happen. But for sure, if we lost the game, we would have been very far away for the fight for the AFC Champions League spot. So, it was very important to win the game. Also, we wanted to recover the special moments that we have at the Fortress. It was important to give happiness to the supporters and get the three points in the last moments.”
The Spaniard also explained why he brought on striker Manuel Onwu at the start of the second half only to replace him in the 78th minute. “We talked about it at half-time. I told him that we needed him in the second half because he is more technical and could help us get control of the possession.”
“I wanted to put Sunil on the left side because he was suffering a lot against the two foreign central defenders. So, I asked him that maybe I had to remove him towards the end of the game. He said he was ready to help the team. He is doing his best and he was working a lot in the 30 minutes he was on the pitch,” he added.
When asked why he removed Udanta Singh in the second half, Cuadrat answered, “I think Goa is a very good team. They play very good football. But we have been in similar positions and have not gotten points. Before the game I told the players to keep fighting. It was a must-win game. We had to put our entire effort. That’s the reason I removed Udanta. He has to learn. It was not the kind of game that he can play.”
“He is a great player. He has lots to give to the team. He is also playing with the national team. (But today) all the challenges that he had, he lost all of them. And then in attack, I told him to run and he was not at the level that he could help the team. I was talking with my players that I need 11 warriors on the pitch to win the game. He was not doing that and so we got another solution,” he explained.
Read the Match Report here.